Kayshon Boutte, a player for the New England Patriots, has been taken into custody due to allegations linked to underage illegal sports betting. He has been accused of making over 8,900 bets in Louisiana between April 2022 and May 2023 while still underage. The Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division made the arrest and revealed that Boutte was only 20 years old when placing the bets, which is a year below the minimum legal age for sports betting in the state.

Using an alias to bypass age restrictions, Boutte allegedly placed at least 17 bets on NCAA football games, with six of those related to LSU football events. There are reports that he was a player for Louisiana State University (LSU) during that time. Following an investigation that commenced in July, an arrest warrant was secured in January, and Boutte was arrested last week on charges of computer fraud and underage gambling. Local media outlets have reported that he has since been released from custody, but with an ongoing investigation, further charges could still be brought against him.

Boutte is currently in his debut season with the Patriots, having joined the team in the 2023 NFL Draft. Although he has not faced suspension from the NFL, the governing body has previously suspended players for participating in sports betting activities. The NCAA, in seeking to protect student-athletes from gambling-related harm, is pushing for stricter laws and regulations in states where sports betting is permitted.

Since the repeal of PASPA in 2018, nearly 40 states have legalized sports betting, but the NCAA believes that only some of these states have provisions to protect the integrity of its competitions. The organization is advocating for enhanced laws and has developed new model legislative provisions for states to pass, ensuring that protections are enshrined in legislation.

The NFL, meanwhile, is known for clamping down on rule-breakers, and has previously suspended players for betting on sports. In the summer of the previous year, several players were issued suspensions for breaching the league’s rules on sports betting. For example, players like Eyioma Uwazurike, Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, Demetrius Taylor, and Nicholas Petit-Frere were all suspended for varying durations for betting on NFL and non-NFL sports. The NFL prohibits anyone in the league from engaging in gambling in any club or facility.

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